Monitoring bone changes due to calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus loss in rat femurs using Quantitative Ultrasound

Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 10;8(1):11963. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30327-7.


Bone mineral density is an important parameter for the diagnosis of bone diseases, as well as for predicting fractures and treatment monitoring. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) to monitor bone changes after calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium loss in rat femurs in vitro during a demineralization process. Four quantitative ultrasound parameters were estimated from bone surface echoes in eight femur diaphysis of rats. The echo signals were acquired during a decalcification process by Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA). The results were compared to Quantitative Computed Tomography (QCT) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry measurements for validation. Integrated Reflection Coefficient (IRC) reflection parameters and Frequency Slope of Reflection Transfer Function (FSRTF) during demineralization tended to decrease, while the backscattering parameter Apparent Integrated Backscatter (AIB) increased and Frequency Slope of Apparent Backscatter (FSAB) showed an oscillatory behavior with no defined trend. Results indicate a clear relation between demineralization and the corresponding decrease in the reflection parameters and increase in the scattering parameters. The trend analysis of the fall curve of the chemical elements showed a better relationship between IRC and QCT. It was possible to monitor bone changes after ions losses, through the QUS. Thus, it is an indication that the proposed protocol has potential to characterize bone tissue in animal models, providing consistent results towards standardization of bone characterization studies by QUS endorsing its use in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Femur*
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Phosphorus / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Ultrasonography* / methods


  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium